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Churches Won't Have to Wed Gays Under Bill Sent to Governor

Gay Same Sex Marriage
Posted at 2:33 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 14:33:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida law will specifically say churches can't be forced to marry same-sex couples if Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill now headed to his desk.

The Senate passed the bill 23-15 on Thursday. Democrats argued the state and federal constitutions already protect churches and said the bill wasn't necessary.

Republican Sen. Aaron Bean said his bill is a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that said same-sex marriage is legal. He said the rule turned the world upside down among people who consider marriage to be a sacred institution between a man and a woman.

He said he hopes the bill is never needed.

The House passed the bill (HB 43) on Wednesday. The law will take effect July 1 if Scott signs it.